Edith Hamilton relates a story in her book, “Mythology” about a beautiful young lady named Atalanta.
After being rejected by her father the King for not being a male, she was left to die in the forest. Yet, she survived and became a fleet-footed huntress.
After hearing about her, several young men came to the forest to woo her. Atalanta, however, wasn’t interested in any man, only hunting and freedom.
She was faster than anyone else and to get the suitors to leave her alone she said that any man who could outrun her would win her hand in marriage.
However, if they lost, they would be killed. Every day another young man lost his race and his head.
One day a man knowing he couldn’t defeat her, added wisdom to the mix. Venus had given him three golden apples that were irresistible to anyone who saw them. He challenged Atalanta and they prepared for the race.
The young man soon fell behind but he threw an apple towards the girl and she stopped to pick it up. He raced ahead. She overtook him but he rolled another apple and she stopped again.
Finally, as Atalanta neared the finish line, he threw the final apple off the side of the course and she flew after it. Taking the opportunity, he won the race and she became his wife.
We became a Christian with heaven as our home. Our citizenship resided in heaven and we were excited to go (Philippians 3:20). In our excitement we promised that we would always be faithful but life interceded.
Atalanta is a good reminder of what happens when we take our eyes off our goal. When Peter walked on the water, he became distracted by the wind and the waves and began to sink (Matthew 14:28-30).
If we live a faithful life, heaven will be our eternal home (Revelation 2:10). But we can’t be swayed by anything and like Demas fall in love with the world (2 Timothy 4:10).
Stay focused and remember that everything in this life is inferior to heaven. Even golden apples.